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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Take: LSU 'Fantastic Four' Staff Unmatched

7-0, 0.51 ERA, .200 opponent's batting average
6-0, 0.88 ERA, .159 opponent's batting average
5-0, 1.30 ERA, .203 opponent's batting average
4-0, 1.46 ERA, .195 opponent's batting average

L-R: Walljasper, Selman, Corbello, Hoover
LSU's "Fantastic Four" in the circle.
Any of those stat lines could belong to the ace of the staff of a championship contender. But what if I told you that all four of the players represented suit up for the same team every weekend?

Sure 'nuff. To say that Allie Walljasper, Baylee Corbello, Carley Hoover, and Kelsee Selman have started the season on fire would be a vast understatement.

I posted a poll question on Twitter a week or so ago... I asked a simple question: Who is the best pitching duo in the country? Several answers rolled in... Florida, Oregon, Michigan, even OU and UCF. But if the question of the best full staff in the nation were posed, there's one answer that immediately comes to mind: The Tigers of the Red Stick.

From the 6'2" true freshman Walljasper to the Stanford transfer Carley Hoover, every member of the quartet are playing at an All-American level. It speaks not only to Beth Torina's ability as a pitching coach, but to the natural talent level that graces the pitching circle for the home team in Baton Rouge.

For comparison's sake, Lacey Waldrop has three losses. Ally Carda's ERA is 2.16. Haylie Wagner's is 1.79.

The Tigers' Fantastic Four have a combined two whole years of experience between them. Corbello and Selman are sophomores, while Hoover (redshirted) and Walljasper are classified as freshmen.

The Tigers are 22-0. Without any doubt, the "L" column would be significantly higher without even one of their hurlers. Ranked in the top five for the first time this season, the Tigers will enter conference play as a favorite to reach Oklahoma City. Though the undeafeated run will obviously end, if the Fantastic Four keep pitching as they have thus far, the WCWS trophy has a very legitimate chance to wind up in Baton Rouge.

If you have an opportunity to watch the Tigers, either in person on television, you should take it. It's been a long time since simply tuning into a team's game gives you a sure-fire guarantee to see an ace pitcher, no matter the day or opponent.

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